3 ways to get a FREE SSL certificate

Secure pad lockThere are two places right now that you can go to get a free secure socket layer (SSL) certificate for totally free. You can also issue your own SSL certificate but it will probably show a popup when visitors access your site because the certificate authority issuing the SSL certificate is you and isn’t included in everybody’s browser.

1) Issue your own SSL certificate (free)
If you have the technical skills and are comfortable then you can issue your own SSL certificate for your own site. The only drawback is the SSL certificate will not be recognized by anyone else. When other people access the https:// version (secure version) of your site. They will be given a prompt that the SSL is untrusted because the certificate authority (CA) that issued the SSL certificate (you) isn’t known or is in their collection of known certificate authorities. If you are running an ecommerce site and issue your own SSL certificate. The warning prompt that appears when people access the secure version of your site may scary people away from buying anything from you.

If you are not an ecommerce and its your own personal site and you want a totally free SSL certificate then you can issue your own SSL certificate for your site and use it. If you are trying to sell anything online than using a SSL certificate issued by you is a big NO NO and will scary people away from buying anything.

2) Let’s Encrypt (free)
This is a project sponsored by Mozilla the people that make the Firefox browser and Google the people behind the Chrome browser. Other supporters include: Cisco, Akami, EFF, Facebook, and more. The project’s aim is issue free SSL certificate to help the Internet a more secure place. The whole project is in “beta” mode so somethings may not go as planned or expected. You will nee to have some technical experience with the command line to use Let’s Encrypt to issue a SSL certificate for your site.

Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates are recognized and accepted by all major Internet browsers.

3) StartSSL (free)
You register and fill out a form and after a few clicks. You will have a free basic SSL certificate ready to be used for your website. The SSL certificate will be recognized by most modern browsers. The SSL certificate will have a validity of 12 months (1 year). Do not expect to get a green trust bar (also known as EV) to show. You will have to pay money to get an eV certificate.